After a long dreary winter, the sun shines bright and hearts are light, deep in the heart of Texas….. Spring is here with the jasmine and roses in bloom, the greening of oak and lawns…. I remember spring days as a child. The joy of being outdoors unfettered by snow suits and boots, mittens and scarves….oh the freedom and pleasure of spring in Dakota.
Making mud pies was an all time favorite sport. Normally, my fastidious mother discouraged gratuitous encounters with dirt. But making that perfect mud pie was an art. Patting that mud into a workable consistency, forming it into the pie shape, using the fore-finger to finesse the edges on that crust….mmmmm.. (I wonder if that is why I love working clay into sculptures and do all my own lawn work?)
I can’t remember the last time I saw a child playing in the mud…..I don’t count my intermediate students who purposefully stride thru mud as players.
I feel sort of sad for them….we are disconnected from our Earth and have lost the cycles of preparing soil and sowing and reaping.
We don’t put our hands in the soil, we don’t connect with the microbes that support our healthy lives. In fact, we do our best to avoid any and all bacteria, to our own ultimate detriment.
In the art room, kids will ask to go to the restroom to wash their hands. I point at the sinks in our room and say “Ok, wash!” The look at the sink and then at me and say, “But there’s no soap.” I point to the soap bars by the sink, and they look bewildered. Can you believe 12 and 13 year olds are not recognizing soap if it is not in a foam or cream formate?
The most common forms of soap are now anti-bacterial, which sounds great– in theory. But the fact is, we need bacteria. Not all bacteria are bad. Bacteria are fundamental for our immune and digestive systems. We are anti-bacterializing our everyday world, we avoid the Earth; we are cleaning ourselves into poor health and possibly death.
Not only are we targeting bacteria, we are also doing it with a questionable substance. Look at the label on your anti-bacterial soap, laundry detergent, deodorant, toothpaste, mouthwash, some common home accessories (plastic dish mats and utensils), towels, and even clothing . See if you can find a listed ingredient: TRICLOSAN.
Triclosan is a bacterial inhibitor used since the 70’s. It really works great fighting staph infections. But when exposed to chlorinated water, triclosan converts to chloroform and dioxins. Chloroform is a carcinogen and dioxins are documented endocrine disruptors. Triclosan is also impacts thyroid hormone concentrations. Triclosan is found in our water supplies. It kills fish and disrupts hormones in the bullfrog . It has been found in the urine of 75% of the population, and in 3 out of 5 samples of human milk.
The FDA, aware of triclosan related concerns for almost 40 years, has evaluated triclosan since 2008, and in April 2010, released a recommendation of continued investigation.
A comprehensive analysis from the University of Michigan School of Public Health indicated that plain soaps are just as effective as consumer-grade antibacterial soaps with triclosan in preventing illness and removing bacteria from the hands.
Alternative cleansing ingredients shown effective include herbs (thyme, oregano), silver and copper ions, and nano-particles.
I say: let’s introduce our children to the fine art of making mud pies. Let’s put our hands back into the soil,plant our own plants, and keep our houses clean with Grandma’s organic cleaning methods.
Be happy, be healthy, take the best women vitamins, and be blessed, Kersten
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